The Year of the Rat is the first in the Chinese zodiac cycle. The 12 zodiac animals are, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. A Rat year occurs every 12 years.
The Chinese zodiac year is usually said to start from Chinese New Year, whose date ranges from late January to late February. Therefore, if you were born in January or February of the above years, you might be a Rat or a Pig. You can use the tool on the right to find your zodiac animal sign.
Rats are quick-witted, resourceful and versatile.
With strong intuition and quick response, they always easily adapt themselves to a new environment. With rich imaginations and sharp observation, Rats can take advantage of various opportunities well. Rats have strong curiosity, so they tend to try their hands at anything, and they can deal with it skillfully.
Ladies belonging to the Rat zodiac sign are pretty, smart, and lovely. They have quick minds and dexterous hands, and are able to learn anything.
A lack of courage, as well as good command skills, Rats are not capable as leaders. Opportunistic and picky as Rats are, they do not have broad minds, but a narrow view.
Rats are kind, but sometimes impolite to others. People of the Rat zodiac sign usually sleep late, for mice are nocturnal animals.
General speaking, Rats are healthy. They are full of energy and active, which helps them keep fit and avoid illness.
A balanced diet and regular exercise benefit Rats. With enough rest Rats can keep high spirits at work, which can improve work efficiency. When in stressful and tense conditions, Rats are suggested to take a tour to free stress and tension.
In dry seasons, Rats should pay attention to prevention of respiratory and skin problems.
With good insight and sharp perspective, Rats have good judgment in what they do, which enables them to prevent unnecessary troubles. Rats are cautious and meticulous, so they tend to show a serious attitude toward their work.
The best careers for Rats are: administrator, director, manager, entrepreneur, broadcaster, writer, musician, stand-up comedian, politician, lawyer, researcher, and racing car driver.
With an active nature, Rats enjoy a flexible social circle. They are interested in attending different kinds of social occasions. They like to make new friends, but they seldom further their relationships with others. Rats have a charming appearance, which can attract more friends.
In love relationships, Rats find it easy to start a new relationship with someone, but they also break off relationships easily, which results in trouble with infidelity.
Love compatibility within the Chinese zodiac animals takes the unique characteristics of each animal into account. Those whose characteristics match well can have good compatibility.
However, those who don’t match need to put more effort into their relationships.
See below the compatibility of the Rat with other animals, and find out if the Rat is compatible with your sign or not.
People born in a Year of the Rat will have excellent fortune in this Monkey Year. With the dispersion of 2015's bad luck, they can carry out their great plans. Therefore, this Monkey Year will be a good opportunity for Rats. They will gain a lot due to their busy work, and their laborious work will finally be worth it.
As for their career, even when confronted with difficulties, people born in a Year of the Rat can handle it easily in 2016. Their career path will go smoothly because they will be full of creativity and energy. Rats should make use of the good opportunities by devoting themselves fully to their work and career. They must not be slack, or they will lose these opportunities.
Nor should they be dizzy with success and become conceited and stop working. Only through their continued effort, self-enrichment, and creation of good karma can they advance further.
The good career fortune for Rats will occur in the first, eighth, ninth, and eleventh Chinese lunar months. However, Rats need to increase their awareness in the second, third, fourth, seventh, and tenth Chinese lunar months.
The monetary fortune for Rats in this Year of the Monkey is prosperous. They will obtain a great deal from both a laborious fortune and a windfall, but they must not be too greedy. It will not be easy for them to accumulate a lot of savings because they will make continuous purchases, although they will have plenty of money, which will reduce their monetary fortune slightly. Therefore, it will be necessary for Rats to manage their finances carefully and they should not be too extravagant.
The monetary fortune for Rats will be best in the third, ninth, and eleventh Chinese lunar months, during which they can make multiple investments and will be profitable.
However, their fortune star will be damaged in the fourth and tenth Chinese lunar months. They will have to make temporary withdrawals in order to prevent anxiety.
Rats should make diversified investments and avoid putting all of their eggs in one basket.
The health fortune for Rats will not be very good in this Year of the Monkey. They must be careful with their diet and daily lifestyle to avoid being susceptible to any illnesses. With regard to external causes, they will need to be aware of the risk of catching the influenza virus, especially in the second, third, fourth, and fifth Chinese lunar months.
With regard to internal causes, they will have a fickle mood, and even the tendency to have neurasthenia. They should try to relax or they will suffer a great deal, both at work and with their health. Special attention should be paid to their health in the fourth and tenth Chinese lunar months.
People born in a Year of the Rat will have great love relationships in this Year of the Monkey. It will be easy for them to be congenial to the opposite sex and reap the rewards of love.
However, they must ensure that they treat their relationships rationally and do not drown themselves in strong emotions. They must be restrained and not overdo anything to ensure they do not cause any problems for themselves.
Their love and relationships will be extremely smooth in the first, fourth, third, ninth, tenth, and twelfth Chinese lunar months. Therefore, it will be a good opportunity for Rats to get married, either at the beginning or the end of this Year of the Monkey.
In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water. For example, a Wood Rat comes once in a 60-year cycle.
It is theorized that a person's characteristics are decided by their birth year's zodiac animal sign and element. So there are five types of Rat, each with different characteristics:
|Type of Rat||Year of Birth||Characteristics|
|Wood Rat||1924, 1984||Independent, self-confident, virtuous and talented, with a strong sense of teamwork|
|Fire Rat||1936, 1996||Energetic, brave, quiet, cordial and friendly to their friends, but very strict with themselves|
|Earth Rat||1948, 2008||Amiable, honest, flexible, modest, serious, with a strong sense of self-esteem|
|Gold Rat||1960, 2020||Smart, talented, hot-tempered, jealous, with a strong sense of self-awareness|
|Water Rat||1912, 1972||Talkative, shrewd, conservative, and wise|
According to Chinese astrology, the year of their birth sign (本命年běnmìngnián /bnn-ming-nyen/ ‘origin (of) life year’) will bring people nothing but bad luck. It is believed that people will offend Tai Sui, the God of Age, in their benmingnian.
Therefore, Rats should pay special attention to avoid misfortune in their lives in the year of their birth sign. The next Rat year is 2020. It starts on Chinese New Year (January 25). Read more on How to Be Lucky in Your Ben Ming Nian.